Bharti Retail, which has tied up with the world’s largest retailer, the US-based Wal-Mart on Wednesday, launched its convenience stores in Ludhiana, marking the company’s foray into organised retailing. The launch was done in an extremely low profile manner, apparently to avoid any mass protests, sources told FE.
The format has been branded `Easy Day’ as first reported by FE. The stores range between 2,500 to 4,500 square feet. With the Easy Day stores, Bharti now joins the ranks of other Indian conglomerates like Reliance Retail and Aditya Birla Group, which have launched chains of their retail stores across the country.
Wal-Mart Inc has tied up with Bharti Enterprises for entering the Indian market. Wal-Mart has entered into a technical agreement with Bharti for its retail stores, where it provides assistance and technical know-how to Bharti on how to operate and manage retail stores. Mike Duke, vice-chairman, Wal-Mart Inc, had already hinted that the retail store would not sport the Wal-Mart tag. He said that nearly three fourth’s of Wal-Mart international’s retail operations are under 52 different local brands, since the company wants to be seen as a local retailer in any area operates rather than a retail behemoth.
Though the company plans to first cover northern India and then proceed to other parts, whether or not the Easy Day stores will be opened in UP is still doubtful. These stores will retail an assortment of products like personal care, stationery, household articles, hosiery items, daily-need groceries including staples, processed foods, bakery and dairy products, meat and poultry and fresh produce.
The first cash-and-carry store that will be operated by the 50:50 joint venture company between Wal-Mart and Bharti will be operational by the year end. Bharti-Wal-Mart is expected to open 10-15 cash-and-carry stores in seven years.